News | Published February 14 2020

Jackson Carlaw announced as Scottish Conservative leader

Jackson Carlaw, the interim leader for the Scottish Conservative party, has won the vote of members to take over as their new leader.

The favourite beat Michelle Ballantyne by 4,917 votes compared to her 1,581.

Prior to his win, Ballantyne accused Carlaw of a campaign which “lacked vision and ambition” following the party’s defeat in the December election.

In response, Carlaw criticised his opponent as the only member of the Conservative frontbench in Holyrood who had never proposed a “single policy proposal”.

The party now holds six seats in Scotland, having lost seven of their previous thirteen to the SNP.

In spite of this, the Scottish Tories are the second largest party in Holyrood, something which has been largely attributed to the success of former leader Ruth Davidson, who served as party leader for almost a decade.

Davidson’s departure from the party followed the birth of her son and her opposition to policies introduced by prime minister Boris Johnson.

Carlaw will now prepare for the Scottish Conservative’s new year in Holyrood, and the upcoming elections.

It is currently believed that the Scottish National Party will win their fourth successive term in government, following their success in the most recent general election.

Carlaw has said that he believes in "a decent, generous-spirited, aspirational conservatism that promotes the values and ambitions of middle Scotland".

It has been noted by critics that Carlaw’s time as interim leader saw the party lose over half the seats they had won under Davidson’s tenure.

Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
February 14 2020

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